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Pauline

Public Transportation Eurostar Train from London to Paris

The Eurostar is a high speed train that gets you from London to Paris in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 20 minutes of that trip is underground through the Chunnel - a tunnel under the English Channel. The cost and travel time are similar to flying, but on the Eurostar you leave from and arrive at central downtown locations.

There are three classes of service: Standard, Leisure Select and Business Premier. Meals are served at the seat for Leisure Select and Business Premier.

Eurostar Stations - St Pancras and Gare du Nord
The Eurostar departs from the St Pancras Station in central London and arrives at the Gare du Nord in Paris. In both stations there are special waiting and boarding areas for the Eurostar trains. Both stations connect to local transportation (the Underground in London, the Metro in Paris) and to local trains.

Both London and Paris have several train stations used by trains going in and out of the city, so if you are connecting to or from another train do not assume it uses the same station as the Eurostar. For example, in London trains from Windsor or Oxford come into London Paddington. From there you take the Underground to London St Pancras (or take a taxi).

Purchase Tickets
Purchase your tickets online at www.eurostar.com and pay with a credit card (US credit card is okay). Tickets vary in price but are around £100 return (advance purchase, no-refund). The website is easy to use and your purchase information is emailed to you.

Do your seat selection when you purchase your ticket. Be aware that half the seats in each car face backwards. Look carefully at the seat map to see which direction the seats face and if they are beside a window (a few seats do not have windows). The configuration in coach on the Eurostar is two seats together on each side of a center aisle (2 - 2). Some of the seats have plugs in either European or UK format. This is indicated on the seating chart.

Print your tickets at home before you leave (you no longer have to pick them up at the station).

Check In at the Eurostar Train
When you arrive at the train station, find the Eurostar area. Show your ticket (or have it scanned by a machine) then, because you are traveling between countries, go through security and passport control before getting to the waiting area.

In the waiting area there are boards listing the Eurostar train departure times and track numbers. Annoucements are made when it is time to board and everyone goes up to the train at the same time, through doors marked for the platform.

Try to arrive at least an hour before your train. Boarding starts 20 minutes before the train departure time and it takes about 15 minutes to get through security and passport control.

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Eurostar area at St Pancras in London

Getting on the Train
When you get onto the train platform, look for your car number. Numbers are on the platform (at your feet) in front of each car.

When you select your seats online, take note of which car entrance they are closest to. You will want to get into the train car at the end closest to your seat, so that you can store your luggage closeby. Stow your suitcases in racks at the end of the car and smaller bags above your seat.

Meals on the Eurostar
If you are riding in Leisure Select or Business Premier, meals are provided. For everyone else there is a bar/restaurant car. The food sold on the train is limited (a few types of sandwiches) so it is best to buy your lunch in the station.
  • St Pancras (London): The best selection of places is in the St Pancras station outside the Eurostar area. M&S Simply Food has a good selection of sandwiches, salads, drinks and snacks. There is also a Paul sandwich shop and a few others. Inside the Eurostar area is a cafe and a newsagent.
  • Gare du Nord (Paris): The best place is inside the Eurostar area at the Paul Sandwich shop. There is also a small cafe and a magazine shop.
Connecting to TGV and Trains to other European Destinations
If you are taking the Eurostar from London and connecting to a train to another destination (not Paris), it is best to change trains in Lille (north of Paris). Not all Eurostar trains from London to Paris stop at Lille, so check the schedules. In Paris the TGV trains do not use the same station as the Eurostar and you have to take the Metro between stations, so it is easier to change in Lille where they both come into the same station.

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Gare du Nord in Paris

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